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Drgeert

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About Drgeert

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    Action Forum Commander

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    Amsterdam
  1. Act 2 was everything I hoped for: a psychonautical trip inside two minds, crossing each other's boundaries, discovering one another and falling in love. For a moment I feared that the plot would move toward a complot theory like so many others: Beneath A Steel Sky, Broken Sword, The Journey Down, etc. So I'm glad that the focus stayed on the chemistry between Shay and Vella. The sinister world behind the dam was just as a metaphor for social pressure instead of following your heart - just one of the many hurdles they had to take - like digging each other's humor, parents, erotic soft spots (space weaver) and lots more. I like how Tim Schafer beliefs that when you love one another, you develop a bit of a paranormal gift enabling you to solve puzzles no other could solve :-) And that love aims to provide this bit of chaos nature needs in order to live on. The end puzzle was exactly hard enough for me to feel really proud for solving it. I am a very happy backer. Thanks for the love and care put into this amazing work of art.
  2. Any how, I would love to provide translations for my (Dutch) language. So my kids can play it.
  3. What I expected when I backed happened to be, quite exactly, a game like Fester Mudd, which I like very much. The game we got is a lot more ambitious and very, very original and as a concept the story is as great as Grim Fandango. And the looks and sounds are totally stunning. So in that way it beat my expectations totally. On the other hand, as a gaming experience, Fester Mudd was still better because its puzzle design is more refined, more challenging and still logical in a funny way. Another recent example of even better puzzle design is Machinarium. Since the puzzles in Grim Fandango and Monkey Island are great, too, it seems to me as if Tim Schafer has made some new assumptions about designing puzzles that I don't agree with. I suspect that these assumptions are related to small touch screens and I wonder if these assumptions are right, looking at a nice (but also too easy) game like Broken Sword 5 which worked very well on iPhone. What makes Grim Fandango and Monkey Island more interesting as stories is that both feel more gritty right from the beginning. The kiddie feel of Broken Age should have some contrast right from the beginning - and quite mysteriously, the monster does not do the trick. (Or should it be Vella and Shay themselves?)Marek does, though!
  4. Drgeert

    The Sacrifice

    I too agree with Thirith! This is a fundamental problem and since I started with Vella, it colored my whole perception of the game a bit negatively. Vella needs to have more of a confrontation with her universe, like Shay does. It would explain her determination. Another pretty fundamental thing is that Vella would be stronger if she were more impatient, in a funny way. If she showed more anger. Right now Vella deals with the monster emotionally like how a normal person deals with a seriously annoying problem, like, say, you can't get your car out of the parking because someone has parked in front of it. But that is not how you feel when confronted with a monster that is going to eat you because it blackmails your whole universe. Her weird lack of any other emotion than determination is vaguely funny, but somehow it doesn't seem like the storyteller (yes, You, Tim!) is aware of this, because there's not really a point being made of it. Because of that, Vella (and Tim) kind of lost me at the start of her story, although I love the way her universe looks and feels. Now what I would consider engaging behavior by determined people, is the way my own wife deals with something trivial like a midge at night. Midges really freak her out. Whenever in the deep, dark silent night I hear this soft 'eeeeee'-sound coming from somewhere and nowhere, I think: come, drink a bit, you're welcome - but I know that my wife thinks differently and tonight is going to be WAR. She turns on ALL the lights. Looks up various weapons like pillows and racket like things and hides in a corner of the room, totally tense, with eyes like a hawk. If my wife had stood before the monster, she would have stood there with the same determination as Vella, but she would have let you *feel* her determination via lots of anger against the beast and big, big heaps of unhidden sarcasm towards the other girls. (Yes, I fucking love my wife!) I know Vella is a lot more introverted, but I think she still needs to *show* her angry determination more emotionally, at least to the player, and have it explained in a way Thirith suggests above. As for Shay, it would be nice if one of the adventures in the very beginning would allow him to become really furious for a while and molest things, so he feels a great relief ('Whoa, that was good'). Right now he expresses his anger only in a passive way (boredom). The ride where he can let his agression out would also be the one he at least enjoys a bit. Maybe some parody on 3D shooters. It would also feel good for the player and provide another way to connect with Shay.
  5. I think that when it moves over to iOS and Android, it's going to get a lot of attention and sell very well. Just look at how well Broken Sword 5 and The Room 2 are doing on iOS. Tablets and point-and-click adventuring are made for eachother. And looking at interface design and the small amount of hot spots per screen, Broken Age looks like it was not made so much for iPad as it is meant as a casual adventure for smartphones, which would make the audience lots and lots larger. The simplicity us backers are complaining about (including me) might be precisely what makes this game a bigger success than other point and click adventures. That means that if it meets basic economic expectations on Steam alone, the profits made as a mobile game may be great.
  6. "I'm going to get you for eating all these girls!" Sounds pretty serious to me. To me precisely that scene feels as if she's talking to a bug: "I'm going to get you for eating my blood!" Actually, in a way this totally fearless hands-on attitude of hers *could* be cool and funny, if it were contrasted with fearful, passive characters surrounding her (compare the Lucky Luke comics series)
  7. The thing is, this is not a survival horror game, and it certainly isn't couched in any reality that we can relate to. This is a coming of age comedy. The horror story is there (the pressure on Vella to sacrifice her life for the greater good, with little or no say in the matter; Shay's Groundhog-day-like imprisonment under the pretence of love), but it's thematic. Comedies often deal with underlying horror in this way (think of Home Alone, a film about a kid with two psychopathic home-invaders trying to murder him). It must have been quite a tightrope to walk. You can make an audience deeply uncomfortable if you're not very careful. Even small touches like Vella's mother and father looking tense when Mog Chothra appeared have one foot off the tightrope. Of course it is comedy, not horror. But, comedy, just like horror, fares well by generating as much tension as possible. The difference is that the tension is kept a lot shorter and released with humor. This is absolutely lacking in the main characters in the beginning. The tension is present in the situation, but they don't deal with it emotionally - even if it were just with a joke. An example of where this does go well is when you're a bit further into the game, when Shay meets Marek. As a player, you don't trust Marek, but Shay's naivety becomes clear through his happiness while following Marek's instructions. That is ironic. From then, he is an interesting character in a cool story. You want to know how this turns out. Vella, on the other hand, hardly ever acts as if she feels more than a bit itchy about that monster she wants to kill. As if you're playing someone who wants to splash a bug that keeps her out of her sleep. And then she suddenly ends up in the clouds among very weird people and we have not the slightest idea how she feels about them - she remains just as untouched as she was.
  8. This was exactly my first impression, but the cool factor did come at the end. But then I started a replay of the game, just to see it again and exactly the same feeling of uncoolness came back. While I knew the game is, overall, cool enough. There is something about the beginning of Vella's side that does not at all bring the ominous atmosphere a maiden eating monster should bring. There is not one moment that anyone seems to believe that Vella is actually going to be eaten. Nobody is going to miss her. Nobody is scared. Not even Vella herself. If anger about her situation is what drives her, all you get to see is just a bit of irritation. The atmosphere is as if Vella is going to her first school day and does not feel much like it. Similarly, Shay's beginning feels like a B-movie for teenagers. His universe consists of a prison where a computer pretends to be his mother and does not show the slightest perception of how he feels, but instead of fear, sadness or anger, he expresses just a bit of dislike about his own sitiuation. All in all, the first ten minutes of the game give the impression that you are going to play passive-agressive characters in surroudings that are sweet and annoying. This is really a major drawback and the only reason I did not stop after 10 minutes was that I am a backer. And I enjoyed the rest of a game a lot! I would say that in the first 10 minutes, both Shay and Vella need to show how terribly scared, frustrated and unrecognized they feel, and also that they are willing to go really far to change this.
  9. Why is Fester Mudd not in this list? It is short, but funny and has very well designed puzzles. And Broken Age needs to be added, of course.
  10. I'm looking forward to all the ironic dialogs we'll get by switching characters. It's really funny to realize that we know a lot more than Shay and Vella. I bet there will be puzzles making use of wrong expectations we have about both environments.
  11. I think it will be seen as a breakthrough Kickstarter project bringing new life to the point and click genre
  12. It is not that I would like to know more or less about them. Vella is very normal, except that she is not stupid while she also lacks even the slightest amount of doubt or fear. Shay is a more interesting, because he is pretty naive and you get the feeling he should not trust Marek the way he does.
  13. I wonder how relevant our preference about this is to DF. Their question is probably wether they'll earn their money back by spending more time on it. I personally think that Act 1 in it's current form, short but strong story, great cliff hanger, two characters you could identify with and easy puzzles, might bring in a lot of new adventure gamers. But it is still a big bet. I could imagine that for DF's own good the best option would still be to make Act 2 not too much longer and quite a bit harder and let it end with another great twist, in order to let people come back for the sequel. Which they could produce cheaper - with a lot more tools and experience at hand.
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